In the quest for fitness on the part of the non-athletic, a variety of learning needs come to the fore. These people need to learn how to achieve fitness. The need to learn what sort of fitness is right for them. They need to learn what they can do to achieve proper fitness. They also need to learn how to sustain their fitness program.
They need to learn the knowledge they will require to reach the goal of becoming and staying fit. The question this begs is what learning tools are there to assist these people in achieving this end. Clearly the workout DVDs and the exercise devices are either too intense or too tedious…or too demanding, or too long, or too difficult, or perhaps it is just too difficult watching all those beautiful people strutting their stuff. For most people then this media approach is not a useful one and that is the starting, point for learning, so bring on the strategies, and bring on the tools.
What then is the curriculum for learning to get fit and stay that way?
The word curriculum may suggest something more complex than the simple goal of achieving and maintaining a reasonable level of fitness. However, to achieve that end, a significant amount of micro and macro learning needs to happen. Organization, scheduling and location selection are among the aspects of micro learning. Macro learning will entail the actual focus of the program, the key areas of attention; heart, core and extension musculature. The purpose here is to internalize and begin to practice an approach to each that will be most effective within the framework of the individual’s starting condition,
These are some aspects of the “curriculum for achieving and maintaining reasonable fitness. The object is to apply the curriculum, support the learning of strategies and the learning skills that will make the program work and keep it sustainable. The issue of sustainability is discipline without which, the fitness program is in serious jeopardy, or, in fact, doomed to failure. It is essential that the curriculum offer the tools to support the required strategies. Scheduling and routine are important aspects of sustainability. A tablet such as an Ipad can offer a number of ways of assisting in the reinforcement of discipline, and help maintain sustainability. An alarm clock function can be set to provide a set of prep and starting times. A calendar function can be used to set the daily goals. Programs or apps can be found to provide ongoing rewards for success and encouragement for wavering willpower.
A set of simple carefully planned out exercises can be worked out based on careful research and coordinated with the calendar function, or a screen video that will present and explain the procedure and purpose of each. These can be as simple as walking up and down a flight of stairs, walking around the block or working with ‘Therabands’.
Other tools that could prove useful while including self-contained rewards and encouragement can be found in the activity based programs of the Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect. These can add a dimension of fun that makes a workout more desirable. The built in reward system can provide encouragement and set some alternative goals that can take the mind off the workout itself. If the companies that make these devices and the software developers would join to create a variety of progressive series of fitness programs, their game systems in adding a new dimension to fitness, could become important learning tools for fitness and factor into rehabilitation and care for handicapped and the elderly helping them to achieve the mobility and fitness to allow them to continue living at home.